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1. The snowball Trinity versus the Father Almighty

The snowball Trinity versus the Father Almighty Who is the real God? A tri nity of persons (The Trinity) or just one person, the F at h...

Thursday, 3 January 2013

50. JW's Splinter groups: Free Bible Students Romanian Trip Report

JW's Splinter groups: Free Bible Students Romanian Trip Report

Some years ago...

At the invitation of the Free Bible Students in various parts of Romania, Joe & Pat Knapp and I made a trip there leaving on Sept. 8 and returning on the 28th. A van from the orphanage took us and Julia Ghenia (who knows some English and whom Faye and Bert Collins are sponsoring for nursing school) to Botosani, arriving after midnight. I was delighted to meet Cecil Pagel for the first time.

The next morning we went to breakfast and met many of the orphans. They are wonderful children who crave affection. Many just touched us and smiled as they passed by. I interpreted this as a sort of welcome from them. The financial situation at the orphanage was not good. I later found out that they owed $20,000 to creditors and it takes $15,000 a month to operate. The children had only bread and jam and watered-down juice for breakfast. Even so, they seemed contented. Later we went to a food co-op and Cecil and Virginia (who runs the orphanage) bought some food staples to give to some of the poor families in the area. How appreciative they were to receive so little. One family lived in a dirt floor one room house that formerly housed seven people. The husband had died, three of the children were taken into the orphanage, and the mother was out in the fields working for food for herself and the two remaining children. We left the food with the two children.

That evening the children assembled in the church on the orphanage property and sang us many songs. They sounded like little angels. Afterwards Joe, Pat and I handed out packages sent there by many brethren in the US to all the children. Most all the contents were school related. How appreciative they all were to get so little. They gave us hugs as they received their package. Marcela, whom Jeannie and I sponsor, had always wanted a flute. Through the generosity of Tracie Elliott of the Berean Bible Student Church of Cicero, IL, we were able to present her with one that evening. She looked down at it, then back to me, then back to it again as if it were a dream. She started to get tears in her eyes. Quite an emotional time for both of us.

The next morning we attended a three hour service in the church. Women sat on the left and men on the right. There were spontaneous prayers from the congregation, hymn singing, and short sermons given by any who wished to share. Joe and I were invited to share which we did with Marius Ghinea interpreting. After lunch we and all the children gathered on the steps of the church for pictures. They also sang to us again.

We stayed with the Vasile Giloan family for a week enjoying their wonderful hospitality. While there we had many Bible discussions with the brethren of that group as well as with two others from another group that showed up. A thirst for a deeper understanding of the Lord's word was ever present.

During the week we studied many things. One was the need to be organized as a church group with responsible leadership as outlined in the Bible. After much discussion this group decided to do this, taking the name of "Adonare Crestin Agape din Cluj" (Fellowship of Christian Love in Cluj). Their first elder was to be Br. Romulus Bondor. During this week Br. Vasile drove us to visit with Br. Loan Pop and his family in Baia Mare. Br. Mirel Venter, a doctor from the village of Bicaz joined us for Bible discussions. These two brothers drove us to see Sr. Lisa Dragos and her family in Sighetul Marmatiei near the Russian border. Joe, Pat, and I had known Lisa when she lived in the US. It was good to see her again and to meet her husband and beautiful little daughter.

The next morning we were picked up by Br. Benjamin Chiorean who took us to his home in Albaiulia. He and their three children spoke English fairly well. We had some Bible discussions and afterward the children sang us some songs. They taught Joe a Romanian hymn and he is turn taught them an English one which had a tricky melody which they loved. He played their guitar while they sung it over and over and over. We enjoyed our visit with them but it was all too short.

The second week we moved over to Gligor Marc's home in Cluj. Immediately we entered into more studies with about six of their brethren. We walked in the nearby woods while the brethren sang hymns accompanied by the accordion. At a high point with a panoramic view of valleys and hills, we sat down and studied some more. Another day we picnicked near a dam and had more studies and sang more hymns again with the accompaniment of the accordion that Br. Gligor played. We had some very intense studies while we were there. Cornelia, Br. Gligor's daughter did much of the interpreting for us. At times Natalia Blaga came and took over. She is a music student at a local university. We discussed the topics of Christian liberty and unity and other topics during the week.

We were invited to dinner at the house of Elena Rus, Br. Gligor and Sr. Lidia's other daughter, and also to Ioan and Marinela Rus' homes. We sang hymns after the meals. Romanians love to sing and they do it with all their hearts. On another day we revisited The Pop's home, studied some more, and had dinner at Br. Mirel's home. The next morning we saw the family sawmill business, had a picnic lunch and headed for Sangeorz-Bai (St. George) where we answered questions in the evening, stayed overnight and had Sunday services the following morning. About 55 brethren were present including many from the Divine Plan group. Joe gave a sermon on living our faith and walking in integrity. I also spoke on the plan of God and centered on the importance of agape (love) being more important than knowledge. Of course many hymns were sung.

The flights home were uneventful and we were all very happy to be home once again with our families. Though tired, we felt that God had richly blessed us and the brethren that we had met.

Other observations:

-The Romanian countryside, hills and mountains are spectacular to behold.

-Encountered cows and sheep driven down the main streets of some villages.

-Pollution in the cities is very bad and went unregulated until just recently.

-Young people in cities are dress quite fashionably on a whole.

-Horse drawn wagons are frequently seen on city streets. Hay is cut by hand with a scythe or sickle.

-Whole families with hoes on their shoulders are seen walking to and from their fields.

-Cows and horses are fed anywhere there is grass, even on the sides of highways. Men and women watch over them.

-The Cluj area was once villages which were destroyed and replaced with huge apartment complexes by the Communists.

-The country's economy is so bad and unemployment so high that many city people wish they were still under Communism for then they had no worries.

-In many cases both the husband and wife work to make ends meet, many work 12 hours a day, 5 days a week.

-It was said that the average wage for workers is $60.00 a month.

-One dollar is about 15,000 Romanian lei. Ex. - A small bottle of water sells for 4500 to 5000 lei. Gasoline price per gallon was around $3.50.

--Elmer Weeks

See also:
9. DEMONISM and the WATCH TOWER: JW's leader under the demon's control
39. Adventist imagination: When God will shut the door
41. The 2520 year theory is from William Miller, not from God
42. The 2520 years Gentile Times are from God or from Joshua Spalding?
43. Who were the first associated of pastor Charles Taze Russell?
44. Adventist linked origin of Bible Students & Jehovah's Witnesses 
45. Charles Taze Russell early view about Nelson H. Barbour as "the chosen vessel of God"
46. A new split of the Second Adventists and the appearance of the Bible Student movement
47. Request for A.P. Pottle, "The Power of the Mind," The Golden Age 
49. CT Russell's wrong view about the gentile times and the great tribulation

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